Thursday, October 6, 2022

Touchstone to deliver Trinidad’s first onshore natural gas project in 20 years

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The Alberta-based Touchstone Exploration Inc. is preparing to launch Trinidad and Tobago’s first onshore natural gas project in 20 years, it said on Monday.

The project emanates from the Ortoire onshore block. Touchstone has 80% operating working interest, with Heritage Petroleum Company Limited holding the remaining 20% working interest.

“The pipeline from our Coho facility to the Central block has been completed, and hydrotesting is scheduled to commence this week upon which the pipeline will be ready for first gas,” Touchstone said in an operational update.

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It said the surface facility is 98% complete with all infrastructure in place, including instrumentation, tanks and the communication tower, which will enable the transmission of gas meter data to its offices in Calgary and Trinidad.

“Construction is underway on the 63-foot above ground pipeline to the Central block tie-in point, which is the final requirement of the project,” Touchstone said.

Upon completion of the tie-in, commissioning and handover of the pipeline, Touchstone expects Coho’s natural gas production to commence with production increasing over time to 10 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d), approximately 1,667 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe/d) gross, 8 MMcf/d (1,333 boe/d) net.

Touchstone said this will be an important milestone for Trinidad and Tobago.

Based on the current contractor schedule and expected pipeline commissioning and handover process, the operator is targeting full production in August 2022.

Trinidad has been struggling to boost natural gas production for some time. It hit its lowest production point in 18 years in 2021.

Former Energy Minister, Kevin Ramnarine said recently that the country will not be able to push its natural gas production above 3 billion cubic feet of gas per day. He called new projects “backfilling” for acute declines.

He said production could fall under 2.5 bcfd or even dangerously close to 2.0 bcfd by 2026.

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